Denmark: Dane in the dumps
Denmark has long had a reputation for economic and financial stability, but this hard-earned status has taken a number of heavy blows in recent months.In October the country's finance ministry cut its growth forecast for 2008 to less than 1%, in response to deteriorating business conditions. It also revised its forecast for 2009 downward to between 0 and 0.5% growth, although government officials expect Denmark to escape a recession. In the same month the country was forced to raise interest rates twice to defend its currency, the krone, after it came under attack from speculators.Mikkel Baaring Lerche, an M&A partner at Bech-Bruun, one of the country's leading law firms, says the country's financial sector has been particularly badly hit, even though it had limited exposure to the US sub-prime market. "For a country of this size, we have an unusually large number of banks," he adds. "We have about 140 different banks, most of them regional or local and some of them are very, very small."
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